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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

5,500 rally for more vouchers in Florida



Thousands of people rallied for private-school vouchers in Tallahassee today in what organizers billed as the biggest parental choice rally ever held in the United States. Organizers put the crowd number at 5,500.

"It's all about education, my friends," Gov. Charlie Crist told the crowd, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. "The power of choice in education is unstoppable."

Many of the participants were black or Hispanic. And speakers included Rep. James Bush III, a black Miami Democrat who is acting president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the venerable civil rights group.

"I hope that people get that this is not about public schools versus private schools," Bush told the crowd. "This is about reading and writing and diplomas and degrees. This is about finding the place where every single student learns the best. This is about fulfilling that very American promise of equal educational opportunity."

In a related development today, the Senate approved the expansion of tax-credit vouchers in a 27-11 vote. Two Republicans voted no: Dennis Jones and Alex Villalobos. Four Democrats voted yes: Al Lawson, Gary Siplin, Chris Smith and Jeremy Ring.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:55am]


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